After preserving apple pie filling, I still had a tonne of apples inundating my fridge.
So, I decided to make some apple sauce and apple butter. Apple sauce is very easy to make and tastes much better made from scratch than the sugar-filled sauce you'll buy at the grocery store. I took some inspiration from Marisa's, at Food in Jars, apple sauce recipe
5 lbs apples
1/2 cup of apple juice
1 tbsp of cinnamon
1 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp of clove
2 pieces of star anise
2 heaping tablespoons of honey
I don't have a foodmill, so I peeled, cored and sliced my apples ahead of time. Add apples, apple juice and star anise to a non-reactive pot and let cook until apples soften. Once apples are getting softer, add cinnamon, clove and nutmeg. Stir every few minutes. After about 15 minutes, apples will be quite soft.
Remove star anise. I like a blended consistency for my apple sauce, so I used my immersion blender. Then, I added honey to taste.
While apple sauce is cooking, prepare jars by putting them in a water canner on a slow boil to sterilize. I usually leave them in there for about 15 minutes.
It seemed simplest to me to use the slow-cooker.
I started with 2.5 litres of apple sauce and let it cook on low for about 16-18 hours. This may be more time than necessary, but I didn't follow instructions and left the lid on overnight. I should have left the lid partially open so that the water being released from the sauce would evaporate more. Maybe it's for the best since I only stirred it once during the night rather than more regularly, as required.
As it cooks, it gets darker and thicker. You'll know that it's ready when you put it on a plate and, after leaving it for a minute or so, water doesn't form around the mound of apple butter.
In the end, I reduced the sauce by half and ended up with 1.25 litres of apple butter.
Go ahead and can that, following these instructions.